The Influencers


Support Growth

A key job for ChristchurchNZ as the city’ sustainable economic development agency is to raise the city’s productivity.

There are many ways we can help facilitate this, one of which is ensuring the city has a vibrant innovation ecosystem.

And we are making progress — Christchurch has just jumped an astounding 168 places in Startup Blink’s 2022 Global StartUp Ecosystem index to make the global top 250.

So how did we get here? The city had a good base of strong ideas and promising technologies but was struggling to transform those into productive economic outcomes.

It took some hard mahi to reduce silos, promote collaboration and critical mass in growth sectors and connect people to the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem, incubators and accelerators that can help transform good ideas into successful businesses.

Our jump up the rankings proves investing in this ecosystem was the right call.

We support Ministry of Awesome’s work to deliver start-up incubators, as well as UC’s ThincLab business accelerators and the work of the HTK Group to help businesses to grow and thrive. This support is key in developing home-grown start-ups, which have the potential to grow into high-growth, high-wage businesses, maybe even Christchurch’s next unicorn. This new ranking is very timely as two weeks ago MoA celebrated their 10-year anniversary. Congratulations to them on that milestone.


Important focus

Since we began Te Pae Christchurch’s operational journey, sustainability has been a key focus for our team.

Ōtautahi Christchurch is fortunate to have a number of businesses leading the way in sustainability – including our airport – the first port of call for many of our clients and their guests – and we are proud to also be among those playing our part in this area.

For us, having a solid sustainability plan in place was a given because we know it’s a key consideration – along with health, safety and security – for many people when booking events, particularly those coming from overseas.

It’s why we chose to align ourselves with the Toitū Enviromark programme – for which we recently received Gold recertification and a nomination for Exceptional Achievement in Environmental Management – and with Qualmark, New Zealand tourism’s official quality assurance organisation.

It’s also why we have partnered with fantastic local organisations such as Foodbank Canterbury, City Care, The Just Dirt Trust and the Canterbury Community Garden Association to donate either our excess food, or the “soil food” generated by our onsite dehydrator.

This takes the excess food that is unable to be donated and turns it into a nutrient rich plant food.

Internationally, the feedback that we are receiving is that visitors perceive Christchurch as both an environmentally conscious and safe city.

Moving forward, It is important that we preserve both these factors for the long-term benefit of our city and residents.


Unsung heroes

Someone very close to me has just spent a week in Christchurch Public Hospital, being assessed for a potentially serious condition.

The time in the wards was an eye-opener. From the time the condition was first identified through to being discharged a week later, there was much to observe about life “on the inside.” First, when the chips are down the system responds, quickly and effectively. Those of us lucky enough to live in Canterbury should never take our health system for granted.

When you really need it, it is there. That is not always the case elsewhere across the country, or around the world. Second, there are literally thousands of people working hard to keep things moving.

Of course the clinical staff are pivotal, but so too are the orderlies, the cleaners, the providers of food, security, administration staff, maintenance, and many others.

A hospital, especially a large one, is a highly complex machine with a myriad of moving parts that are all interacting and all dependant on committed people doing good work together, every day and night.

Unless that is experienced first-hand, it’s very easy to take it for granted, or worse, complain about a system that is coping as well as it can under enormous and sustained pressure.

It is clear that our hospitals are seriously under resourced, resulting in frustration, stress, delays and blockages.

That frustrates everyone but is a subject for another day. My point is that we should be grateful to the often unsung heroes who dedicate themselves to our health and wellbeing.

By the way, thanks to them, it all turned out OK for that person very close to me.


A privilege

Wow, it’s been a whirlwind since I became Mayor of Christchurch.

When you start a new job you often face a big learning curve, and I’ve certainly had a lot to get my head around during the past six weeks.

One of my priorities has been getting to know the new councillors and getting everyone working together as a team.

I want us all pulling the rope in the same direction because I am determined to make Christchurch the best place to live, work, invest, and play in
New Zealand.

I think we’re on the right track to achieving that.

I’m lucky that as Mayor I get to go to lots of events and to chat with many different people. I love getting their take on how Christchurch is going.

Generally, people are pretty positive.

During Cup Day at Addington, and the launch of the Fast5 netball world series at Christchurch Arena, I spoke to numerous visitors to Christchurch. They love the new-look central city and what’s going on here.

I have to say that one of the best things I have done since becoming Mayor was my first Citizenship Ceremony. Chrissy and I welcomed 363 new Kiwis from 51 different countries.

They were so happy to become New Zealanders and we were delighted to be part of their special day.

A hard slog is involved in being Mayor, but it is a great privilege.

Previous Post

Find your zen: Resene

Next Post

Supreme design wins

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *